Canadian Music Festival Profiles

Wavelength Winter Festival / Camp Wavelength

Toronto, ON

Established in 2000, Wavelength Music Festival began as a pay-what-you-can Sunday night series combined with a free monthly photocopied zine at Ted’s Wrecking Yard in Toronto — which was, back then, “held together with glue.” Built up by independent musicians and fans who wanted to share their excitement for the Great Toronto Area’s underground music scene, Wavelength was created during the halcyon days of DIY, a philosophy that thrives on today. Wavelength has supported thousands of local heroes, unsigned artists and up-and-comers, with dozens of events per year including two yearly festivals: the Wavelength Winter Festival and Camp Wavelength.

Formerly Wavelength Music Festival, Wavelength Winter Festival brings warm community vibes to the dead of winter. Taking place every February, Wavelength presents three days of new Canadian talent, with alumni including Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, Constantines, Grimes, Peaches and so many more. Spread across venues in Toronto and countrywide, 2017 saw headlining performances by TOPS, Peeling, Phèdre and Julie Doiron & the Wrong Guys, with a Drone Brunch co-presented with Mechanical Forest Sound. The festival also integrates the visual arts, with festival installation artist and set designer Roxanne Ignatius and General Chaos Visuals’ Steven Lindsey exhibiting their oeuvres, alongside a slew of yearly contemporary artists.

Outdoor summer fest Camp Wavelength had its origins in the Wavelength and Artscape-produced ALL CAPS! Festival, which ran on Toronto Island from 2009 to 2013. Set in August since 2015, Camp Wavelength offers the joys of summer camp with a soundtrack of independent Canadian artists. For the fest's first two years, festivalgoers were invited to camp out on the Toronto Islands, with extracurriculars including a morning run led by the Wooden Sky’s frontman Gavin Gardiner, an arts and crafts table organized by local DIYers Static Zine and capture the flag games led by Posi Vibez. In 2017, flooding on the Toronto Island forced the festival to relocate to the city proper, with "Day Camp" shows at Sherbourne Common and indoor "Night Camp" shows at the Garrison and the Great Hall. In 2018, the festival decided to stay in the city, moving to Fort York and Garrison Common. Camp graduates include indie rockers Cloud Nothings, dream pop outfit Young Galaxy, pop composer Lydia Ainsworth and sci-fi industrialists Odonis Odonis.